How often should I get a dental clean?
A dental clean removes plaque and tartar build up on your teeth.Most dentists have a 6 or 12 month recall system for check ups and cleans. However, it may be better to advise patients to have regular dental checks based on factors such as lifestyle, diet, age, previous oral health and personal dental hygiene. Having a regular check and clean is recommended for most people in order to monitor and treat early signs of decay, but it is essential for those who are at risk of gum disease. If you are at high risk of decay or gum disease due to factors such as smoking, you should have six-monthy check ups.
Why have regular appointments?
Even if you clean your teeth properly and maintain a healthy diet, you should still have routine check up appointments. The dentist can check for early signs of disease and decay, and advise you to improve your oral hygiene. Early treatment of oral problems also means that you avoid pain and expense later on.
What happens when the dentist cleans or scales my teeth?
A professional cleaning or scaling will remove the plaque which is the main cause of severe gum disease. Signs of gum disease include bleeding, red swollen gums, persistent bad breath and loose teeth.
Key to good oral health is cleaning your teeth properly as this will remove plaque before it calcifies and turns into tartar. This is almost impossible to remove with a toothbrush and if left on the teeth, can become covered with bacteria which attacks the gum tissue.
Who is at high risk of decay or gum disease?
People with diabetes
People taking strong medications
Women undergoing hormonal changes, eg during pregnancy
People with serious medical conditions such as cancer or AIDS
Family history of severe gum disease (periodontitis)
Is gum disease serious?
The early stage of gum disease (gingivitis) can be reversed through regular and thorough oral hygiene and professional cleaning. The later stage (periodontitis) is more serious and can lead to tooth loss. Treatment involves cleaning bacteria from the pocket between the gum and tooth. If the bacteria remain, it infects the gum and causes the connective tissue between gum and tooth to break down, causing teeth to become loose.